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ERIC and the emerging NHS renewable electricity challenge

Does Your Trust Purchase 100% Renewable Electricity Supported By Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin Certificates?

The drive towards purchasing 100% green electricity is accelerating, with an additional question now added to the Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) form; the central data collecting platform for NHS estates and facilities services.

While Trusts are not obligated to procure renewable electricity currently, the adding of this new field would seem to indicate a clear direction of travel.

Our NHS clients across the country are increasingly asking about net zero carbon and sustainability. They sense enforcement is coming soon.

Many of the Trusts will want to be able to state all their energy is green to fit with the Model Hospital benchmarking and best practice framework.  Climate change, the path to net zero and finding cost-effective ways to be more sustainable are increasingly on Trusts’ radars.

The key question in ERIC  is: ‘Does your organisation purchase 100% renewable electricity and is this supported by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates, as part of Ofgem’s verification process?’

This will be a critical factor for both ERIC benchmarking and Model Hospital performance data.

Is your energy procurement provider prepared to meet this challenge?

At Inenco our designed-by-trusts OJEU compliant NHS framework identified this as a priority last year and we are pleased to announce that our current suppliers offer:

  • Carbon Free – a 100% renewable electricity product, backed by REGO certificates as guarantees.  Or,
  • Carbon Free Plus – enabling Trusts to tailor their renewable energy by choosing the source or origin.

This could be power certified as renewable from UK wind, hydro and solar sources. Or renewable power exclusively sourced from our extensive contracts with UK-based renewable generators.

Our framework also includes marketing materials to promote Trusts’ carbon-free credentials and is Renewable Electricity EcoAct Assured.

A commitment to ‘net zero’

In June last year, then Prime Minister Theresa May committed the UK to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gases across all services within 30 years. Late last year, it was reported that 5.4% of the UK’s greenhouse gases are generated by the NHS.

Research published by the Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) campaign, an NGO that works to reduce the environmental footprint of health, and consultancy firm Arup, calculates that globally healthcare’s climate footprint accounts for an astonishing 4.4% of the world’s net C02 emissions.

If healthcare were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter on the planet.

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change, which represents all major health bodies and 650,000 healthcare professionals in the UK, has also recognised the urgency.

The HCWH report further finds that the NHS produces higher emissions than the global average for healthcare and is responsible for 5.4% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.  That’s equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 11 coal-fired power stations.

Its emissions are not much lower than those for both aviation and agriculture, forestry and land use in the UK – each 6.5%, according to the Committee on Climate Change figures.

The NHS was one of the first national health systems to produce a carbon reduction strategy 10 years ago and started measuring emissions in 2007.

Since then the health and social care sector has cut emissions by 18.5%, according to the NHS Sustainable Development Unit, despite a 27% increase in clinical activity over the same period.

Trusts that work quickly to embrace the new green agenda and are in a position to affirm their commitment as outlined in the new ERIC question; will be best placed to deliver high standards of healthcare whilst also addressing the environmental impact of their activities.

To find out how Inenco’s team of NHS experts can help, contact us on 01253 785294